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Discussion Starter #1
I'm rehashing this, cause i can't type too well, I posted this on another local site, so if parts don't make sense you've been pre-warned lol. The original post had to do with someone wondering what a Tankslapper was. I don't have any decent pics of me at the track yet, but I do have some video (not captured yet). I'll do that eventaully and/or get some stills out of it of the happier moments (there were plenty). This happened at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, the only track remotly close to me. The Canadian Superbike series runs there too. It is a very tight & tenical track that is NOT dominated by HP. It's a favorite of the pro's for that reason. The best rider/bike combo wins. Not the guy who spends the most on motor...

Anyone who wants to know what a tankslapper is can come over and see my bike... or my broken arm. Thanks to a nice incident at shubie's turn 11 while getting on the gas hard for the front straight.

I have (had?) a steering damper too, although in all honesty I had it set on my street setting (really low). I had just lowered my front and raised my rear for some quicker track steering. Although it was still in a safe zone (-4mm front & +4mm rear=8mm total) it still came back to bite me. Combined with the suspesion changes I made I guess it was just too extreme...or just one of those rare track happenings. All this on a bike that is known for being rock-soild stable. But I had that thing set up so it was handeling like it was on rails LOL. No complaints until...

I rode the same line I had all day, maybe slightly faster. I don't know what caused the slapper but my god, was it a dozzie. I've had "wiggles" on the street before, but never a full-on slapper like this. This didn't start out as a small one and work it's way gradually up...it started out as a full slap (soooo much harder than the worst wiggle I've had on the street, and I've had some doozies), I had time to think, fook, keep the throttle pinned, and grab the tank with the knees... I did that, then the bars had one final kick (soooo much worse than the first one, it was VIOLENT) and the next thing I know (the final one happened) I'm ashphalt sliding down the straight.

I'm pretty sure the bar oscilation is what actually broke my arm (near the wrist) or I must have been still holding on while my body was launched like a sack of (PEI) potatoes off it. The thumb on my other hand was sprained slightly too. I ended up on the grass, as did the bike, about 1/3 of the way down the straight I guess. Witnesses told me "holy f**k you slid a long way". I had a nice chat with the guy directly behind me, he saw it all. Too bad no video footage, I'd love to see it.

Botton line, good gear is essential! It saved me from a lot of pain. Even with the broken bone, I was up (and pissed) as soon as I stopped sliding. The gear took it all, even the impact of the landing at...god only knows what speeds (I was in the medium group). But, I am still in love with shubie, it was my 2nd year there, and I'll be back for more. I may not go so extreme with my geometry, but I'll be there! The bike was not badly damaged at all, all things considered (or me).

One thing I wonder about, I was friggin around with my damper the day before the track time...I wonder if I maybe stripped one of the bolts that holds it on (it's hard to get at and was giving my problems) and maybe it somehow got loose. Maybe the damper went from working to nothing in a split second and it upset the front? I dunno...cause it is "only" a 600.

Whew...long winded...took a long time to type with 1.5 hands. This is my first post about it. But I have no regrets, I had such a blast the first year I said I'd make some changes to make the bike even better. I was really happy with them all, save for maybe the last minute chassis and damper adjustments. SS braided brake lines were the most noticable improvement.

Pics to follow...
 

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Thanks for sharing, man, if this doesn't make people go out and get some proper gear I dont know what will! Glad to see you weren't killed! The broken arm sucks but at least your walking right? The bike needs some work now but I guess it looks pretty good considering.
 

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NO! NOT THE YELLOW ONE!!! Glad to see you're ok though. Bikes can be fixed and/or replaced. I wish you a quick recovery so you can restore her to her former glory.
 

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WOW!!! I've had a few of those all the sudden tank slappers but nothing like yours...I've never been thrown of yet or laid it down yet....I say yet because it can happen to the best of us. Glad you are not hurt too badly...
 

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We are all just glad you are OK minus a few breaks and bruises [B)]. Bikes can be replaced, your health cannot.

Dainese makes world class gear; I use the same on the street. Lately I have been riding a lot without my jacket because its been WAY Fn hot [8)] but I think Ill either sweat with the jacket on or not ride at all.. these things are a good reminder for all.

Glad you are here to post about it ;)
 

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glad you came out ok, and minimal damage. at least its not trashed.
 

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That sucks bro, glad to hear you are okay for the most part.

Have you heard anything as far as estimates for repairing your bike, or is this a good time to get an 03?
 

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Sorry about your track day crash. [V]


But at least you're ok. And definately start riding again when you heal up.

And try sending a pick of your helmet to the manufacturer and claim that you'll never wear another as it saved your life, they might send you a new one. A friend of mine slid with a Shoei and got a new one too.

-Ben
 

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Awwwwwwwwww MAN Gruntster...

I'm gonna get all MISTY here. That bike, as I've stated MANY times in the past, was one of the most absolutely SWEET bikes ever posted on this site. I'm feelin' yer pain here large.

BUT, lotsa positives too... you're okay (with the exception of slowed typing skills and a little healing process). You still can talk about the "great time" you spent at Schubie. You no doubt learned some limits at the track. Your bike isn't written off by any means. Parts can be replaced.

Glad to hear you're okay. Now get that baby back up to snuff quick - those crashed pics are killin' me here. Thanks for the update, keep us posted.
 

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A fine tale, right up until the “crashing” part. Glad you aren’t hurt too badly: I’ve had a crash or two myself.

Guessing the change in geometry did you in. I can’t answer to your “numbers;” 8mm ride height change (front and rear) sounds like a lot to me but again I don’t know the ’02 very well.

There’s a fine line between handling and stability. We all ride it. Tip the balance too much, shit happens. Reminds me of a former pal who highsided his 916 (some years ago) while minding his own business on Angel’s Crest in L.A. He’d just added superlight wheels. That changed the geometry enough to upset the bike.

I’m also curious if your tire inflation was off. Might want to consider that as well in your post mortem.

Odd your damper didn’t save you. I just added an Ohlins, purchased from Mr. Kyle. I’ll start at the recommended setting and stiffen if necessary. An ’03 on the track without a damper seems a recipe for disaster, based on the 180 laps I’ve done so far at Pacific Raceways.

I’ve ridden a fair number of track days with stock bodywork. Miraculously I’ve never drilled in with it, though I assumed my days were numbered. You weren’t so lucky. $700 or so (U.S.) up-front, plus paint, starts to seem like a bargain after the first couple replacement fairings. I’ll probably grind down my race bodywork one of these days, then start cursing about not having aftermarket bars, bar ends, rear-sets, blah blah. One step at a time.

Anyway, good luck putting it back together. Seems a shame, though things do happen at the track.

-=DRB=-
 

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I spent a lot of time talking to the chief mechanic at the Keith Code school about set up. He is also supposed to be an awesomely fast rider. He said that they set up the '02 ZX-6R school bikes with the rear ride height set all the way up and the front stock. I haven't measured it but I would guess it is more than 10mm probably closer to 15mm with no steering damper. He was a big fan of Scotts steering dampers by the way. He claimed that you get better rear geometry and more cornering clearance if you use all the back up first before you start lowering the front.

That is scary going into a full blown tank slapper. I have mine up 5 in the back down 5 in the front, no damper and never any hint of instability. I am going to try it up 10 in the back stock in front.
 

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This is good info, thanks.
I've been a little scared to go up more than the 6mm I have now because I've heard so many stories about tank slappers, even on 00-02's. But if the Code school bikes have the ass all the way up, I guess I'll have to do it too, or at least try 9 then 12mm. Sadly, it will have to wait until next year 'cause it's getting coooold over here[V]
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the info guys, I haven't been on here too much lately. Interesting about the Code school. The tire PSI was just reset that day, so it should have been spot on.

I was stripping the biker apart and I think my damper mounting bolts may have been a factor. One of them was not the original, and the clamp was loose the night before. I couldn't get to it very good, but tightened it up as well as I could. I think it was stripped. I'm starting to wonder if I had some shake, and the damper went from working, to all of a sudden loose, and all that force was suddenly transfered to the forks in one big load...dunno, just a thought.
 
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